Coronavirus (COVID-19) policy

Following the Chief Dental Officer’s advice (dated 18th March 2020), we at Sharrow Vale Dental Care have produced the following policy.

Galer Farrer is the COVID-19 Lead at Sharrow Vale Dental Care.

• A COVID-19 poster will be clearly displayed on the entrance door.

• The following mechanisms will be established to identify whether any potential patient or household are displaying symptoms (high temperature, persistent cough, shortness of breath), prior to any visit:

o Every patient will receive an email a week before detailing Coronavirus – email address dependent
o Every patient will be reminded of their appointment via SMS – mobile number dependent. This advises them to cancel if they have a fever / cough / shortness of breath and provides the practice telephone number
o All patients will be telephoned the day before to ensure they are symptom free, they live in a household that is symptom free and have not been in contact with anyone with Coronavirus symptoms or been to an affected area.

• Dental care will not be delivered to those with potential COVID-19 or those in their households.

• SVDC will continue to uphold their robust infection control procedures, including (but not exclusive of) wiping surfaces between patients, extra vigilance to include door handles etc. and use standard personal protective equipment (PPE).

• Patients will not be asked to sign the iPad. A verbal medical history will be taken in surgery and the Clinipad FP17 will be signed with the words COVID 19. A treatment estimate will be printed for the patient to take home and sign at home with their own pen. This will be scanned into the notes. If a patient wants treatment at that visit and it is urgent – fees will be verbally discussed and the estimate will be signed with the words COVID-19.

• We would like to minimize the number of routine check ups by cancelling ALL patients from vulnerable groups:
o Aged 70 or older (regardless of medical condition)
o Aged under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
• Chronic (long term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis
• Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
• Chronic kidney disease
• Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
• Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, a learning disability or cerebral palsy
• Diabetes
• Problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed.
• A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
• Being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or more)
• People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immune-suppression medication
• People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
• People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
• People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
• People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease – dialysis)
o Those who are pregnant
o We will also offer cancellation to anyone else who wishes to do so – consistent with the current advice on social distancing.

• We will consider the potential risk of asymptomatic cases attending in this delay phase and reduce exposure of staff and patients to infection by avoiding ALL aerosol-generating procedures wherever possible. The following list is inclusive but not exclusive to;

o Ultrasonic scaling – this will be replaced with hand scaling
o Periodontal cleaning – this will be suspended until guidance
o Routine fillings
o If a tooth requires an emergency root canal treatment then the tooth will be accessed via a rubber dam

• There has been increasing evidence that patients with a positive diagnosis should not use ibuprofen for their symptoms. If on a telephone consultation with a high-risk patient we will advise against the use of Ibuprofen.

• Agree local arrangements to consolidate, where necessary, the provision of any essential, routine NHS work that cannot be delayed and urgent dental problems.